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April 02, 2022

Are you feeling grounded these days?

Well…what exactly does it mean to be grounded?  Being “grounded” means you are fully present to your experience of the moment, present in your body.  When you are grounded, you feel calm, clear-headed, confident, balanced, flexible and resilient, you are open and available for happiness to enter.  When you are grounded, you can act skilfully from a steady place in any situation. You may also have a sense of connection to the earth and to others around you.  Being grounded is fundamental to your health and well-being.

If you are not grounded, you may feel unbalanced and uneasy, distracted, out of sorts without knowing why. You might have a lack of focus or feel less connected, drifting like a leaf on the wind.

It’s not always easy to stay grounded in the swirl of everyday life, when adversity strikes, when situations seem to be out of your control, when stress creeps in and anxiety or emotions take over.  It’s good to be able to have this awareness and to notice whether or not you are grounded.  And to have practices in your toolkit to help you to stay rooted in the present moment, steady in the face of your challenges.

I like the concept of “rooting down” to get grounded.  When we think about being grounded, trees are the ultimate example. Trees, rooting deeply into the earth while reaching gracefully for the sky, stand for strength, steadiness, flexibility, resilience. And through their roots, they are connected to other trees. From their place of rooted stability, trees can weather most storms.

We can use this image of rooting down to get grounded for our own well-being…so the we can weather the storms of our life with ease and grace.

Yoga, meditation and breath work are all very grounding practices.  Mindfulness practices can be very helpful as they train to notice our thoughts and feelings, to notice how we react to the various situations we face every day, to notice if we are grounded or not. And of course mindfulness also trains us to stay present to our moment by moment experience…in other words to stay grounded.

And as part of your grounding toolkit, here are 4 practices that are easy to do anywhere, anytime, and for as long/short as you wish.  They can be used to actively ground you in critical times of need, by rooting you in your body and in your present moment experience.  They are also wonderful as part of your daily self-care practice.

 

Easy and Powerful Practices to Get Grounded


5 SENSES GROUNDING MEDITATION

Our senses connect us and root us to the present moment, allow us to stay grounded.  They are the doorway to the present...and our attention is what opens the door.  Simply focusing on what you see, hear, smell, taste and feel in the moment helps to pull your attention from the thought-forms and creations of the mind, back into the now…the world of the senses.  This is an especially useful tool to use as a pattern-interruptor if you ever have anxious or fearful thoughts; seeing the safe world of your present moment calms the nervous system. Try this simple grounding meditation using your senses to anchor you in present moment awareness.

Wherever you are, stop for a few moments of stillness.  You can sit or stand.  Take three deep, slow, relaxed breaths to help you to step away from your busyness and to connect with this experience.  Begin to tune into the world of your senses.

5 - Look around you and notice and acknowledge FIVE things you see around you.
4 - Shift your attention to the sounds around you.  Notice FOUR things you can hear.
3 - Now notice what you feel in your body as sensations, notice THREE things you can feel.
2 - Notice and acknowledge TWO things you can smell and experience them fully.
1 - Shift your attention to your sense of taste and notice ONE taste lingering in your mouth.

 
EARTHING PRACTICE

There’s nothing more grounding that the earth itself!   And it feels really good to be in direct contact with it.  So get barefoot and connect with the earth…sand, dirt, grass, stone, whatever you can.  Stand firmly, lift and spread your toes and then plant them down firmly.  Press your feet into the ground. Through this direct contact, skin on earth, you will receive the subtle, healing electromagnetic energy that flows from the earth.  Simply bask in this (free) fountain of wellness!  Notice all the sensations you experience through your sensitive feet, notice how it feels for you to receive the connection and to breath in harmony with nature.  
If you can walk barefoot outside where you live, a walking meditation can be a lovely way to practice earthing.  To do walking meditation, you focus on your breath, and walk very slowly, noticing each shift in weight, bringing full attention to an act that we often take for granted.
You could also try laying down on the grass and allowing yourself to be held fully by the earth, simply being.

 
EARTH BREATHING


From a comfortable seated or lying down position, bring your awareness to all the places that your body is supported by the earth. As you inhale, visualize that your breath is rising up from the earth into your body, filling you up with earth energy.  As you exhale, visualize the energy flowing out of your body and receding back down into the earth.  Inhale and exhale…energy flows in and back to the earth.  This is a practice you can revisit whenever you need to ground and centre, it’s a practice that can bring you back into your body and into the present moment.  You can do this anywhere… even standing in line at a store, you can connect to earth and visualize your breath flowing through the soles of your feet.

 
TREE POSE VISUALISATION

Tree Pose is a wonderful pose to do when you want to feel grounded, it calms and steadies the nerves, helps us to develop balance, concentration and stability.  It’s the perfect pose to root to the earth and reach for the stars.  Balancing in Tree Pose, you can visualise that your standing foot has strong and deep roots that solidly ground and steady you. Like a tree, you can imagine your roots also connect you with others all around you, whether you can see them or not.  While you are rooting down, reach your hands to the sky, like branches they reach for the light and nourishment, they reach for the stars. You can be playful in tree pose, wave your branches, balancing and swaying like a tree in the wind, solidly grounded by your roots. Your heart is the centre, the bridge between earth and sky, a channel for the light to flow.  Notice how it feels to expand energetically in this beautiful pose.




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